Whole roasted chicken untouched--what to do?
I roasted a whole chicken yesterday but at last minute had to just let it cool. Now it's in the fridge.
I'm wondering whether reheating it is the way to go (wouldn't want to cook it further, though how to do that?), or whether there are better applications (single or multiple) that come to mind for people here.
Depending where you live, if fresh produce is coming into season, I'd opt for cold sliced chicken with fresh tomatoes, steamed zucchini and crookneck, and roasted Mexican street vendor style corn. I'd also take advantage of the situation and leave a fair amount of meat on the carcass when making stock. Sliced roast chicken is also a great ingredient in panini, maybe with some wonderful cheese and some roasted tomatoes and peppers. If fresh vegetables are not yet abundant where you live, I'd chunk it up and make stacked green chili enchiladas, topped with a fried egg and crumbled Cotija. I love having leftover roast chicken. Frankly as much as I love it hot, it is largely because it smells so good and goes well with so many wines.
Whenever whole chickens go on sale I purchase 2 or 3 and roast them for weeknight meals. I freeze them whole in large ziplock bags then pull one out when needed. Here are some ways we enjoy using up the meat:
- shredded in pasta dishes or salads. This week we shredded some for a pasta dish w roasted asparagus and ricotta. Dinner came together in the time it took to cook the pasta.
- sliced for sandwiches (panini, clubhouse, hot chx w gravy open faced) or atop pizza or as a filling for fajitas. For the fajitas I just toss the sliced chx in w the seasoned peppers and onion at the last minute to warm it up.
- sliced or chopped in a stir fry
- chopped for soups, stews or chicken pot pie
- drums and wings are great for picnic-style dining. No need to reheat, just enjoy cold w some potato salad or coleslaw.
Roast meats never taste the same if they are thoroughly reheated, and reheated chicken skin doesn't get as crisp as just-made. If I wanted to serve that bird "hot", I'd remove the meat from the carcass and make stock, including some of the skin. Then reduce part of the stock and thicken for gravy. Remove the skin from the meat. Slice the meat and allow it to come to room temp while recrisping the skin in the oven at 375-400F. Warm the meat only slightly in the microwave or for 2-3 min once the skin is done recrisping. Ladle the hot gravy over the skin and meat.